Q&A with Chef Jason
Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
When I was very young, my grandmother would take me to a small diner in town for breakfast. We would always have to sit at this one table so I could watch the cook. At that age, which was about 2 or 3, I would watch the cook whisk eggs, and toss things around in a saute pan. I would imitate his actions when I got home, eventually leading to actually cooking my first dish at 3 years of age. From there it just blossomed into what I do today.
What's your least favorite food?
There is really nothing that I do not like. I may not like something by itself but when incorporated with other ingredients, everything tastes good. If I have to choose something, I guess it would have to be green olives, by themselves.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Grilled pork chops marinated in orange juice and zest, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic and oil.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
Cooking a whole wok full of pork fried rice (approximately 15 lbs) when the handle on the wok broke and fried rice ended up all over the kitchen floor. Or the time the pilot light on the gas grill went out at work, and the propane that was filling the air ignited from the burner pilot light, as I was walking right next to it. It pretty much engulfed my head, and all I saw was orange and felt a lot of heat.
What is your idea of comfort food?
My version of sloppy joes, which has sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, onion, ground pork, ground beef, tomato sauce and sugar.
Apron or no apron?
Half apron, around the waist.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
The chilled monkey brains, bugs, and snake in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Auguste Escoffier or Julia Child.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
A, B, C, depending on my mood and how tired I am.